Why I miss my pregnant belly

I used to love being pregnant. I felt special. I felt like a million bucks. I was never happier piling on the pounds, giving in to whatever cravings I could. But when I gave birth, I didn’t expect to miss being pregnant. Many people will tell you that it’s perfectly normal to miss your pregnant belly right after you give birth. After all, the tautness is gone, you’re left with loose skin, leaking breasts, a whole lot of weight to lose once the baby is out. But hey, the baby is out! That’s great, isn’t it?

Yes, totally. But what you’re missing is not just your pregnancy, no matter how good or bad it was. You’re missing something else. You’re missing the attention, the kicking, the uncomfortable nudging, that special feeling of housing a life within and now well, you’re empty. Your womb that housed your own little person inside for 9 months is officially vacated and it’s perfectly understandable to mourn that. Some people feel confused or ashamed that they’re feeling badly while they’ve birthed a beautiful human being, who is the apple of everyone’s eye on the outside. What you’re missing was personal. No one else could feel your baby’s kicks like you did. It’s not the same in-utero as it is extra-utero.

Guess what? There’s no need to be guilty. Your hormones are going crazy. Your body that was centred around keeping your baby safe is now gearing for shedding the very same uterine lining it was saving. It’s preparing to make milk. It’s nearly impossible to simulate what actually happens in the post partum body. Yet, you’re living it. Congratulate yourself on that. You’ll be off balance but on your feet in no time. I remember I couldn’t sleep the night before my parents arrived to help me through that last week of my pregnancy (my son was born the next day, so it was literally the last night). I remember thinking that for the last time, like in forever, it would just be me and my husband together in the house. If it’s your last baby, the feeling is more intense. That was the last time you housed a living being within. The last kick, the last push, last everything. Make it last for yourself. Take pictures constantly through your pregnancy; take videos of your ultrasounds, of the baby kicking; have a baby journal – whatever helps you revisit your days and see it as a fond period. Importantly, try to speak to your partner about this for moral support. You have to be in your skin with your partner at the very least and not pretend to be over the moon just because you gave birth. Believe me, once you start charting your baby’s grinning in his sleep, those are the milestones you’ll start looking forward to.

And for everything else, there’re those keepsakes from your pregnancy.

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